There is no worse phrase than this: ‘just look into yourself.’

There is no worse phrase than this: ‘look deep into yourself. ‘There one finds, however, only the lower self. One must seek lovingly outside oneself, and then one will find what one is seeking. I have known people who said: ‘what do I need? I don’t need anything at all, because I’m Atma (soul). ‘– and even though they constantly say “Atma, I’m Atma”, they do not become conscious of Atma, all they know about it is that it is a word with four letters. It leads to closing oneself off when gazing into yourself. For we are part of the whole. The finger is only finger because it is part of the body. If we separate it from the organism, then it is no longer a finger. The finger does not separate itself from the organism; but the human being is so “clever” that he believes that he could detach himself from the earth, although if he is just a few kilometers above the surface of the earth, he perishes. […] It is the worst possible mistake to want to find the god within yourself. Losing oneself through entering into all the details of the world, that is the right path. He who dedicates him or herself to love and humility will find godliness, while he who seeks God in himself, hardens.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen- ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Vienna, November 7, 1907 (page 38-39)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 29 October 2018

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Antipathy and karma (4 – End)

And now, as we go on again into the third life, the outcome of the suffering which came to us (though only of that suffering which came, as it were, out of our own stored-up hatred), the outcome of the pain which was thus spent in our soul is a kind of mental dullness — dullness as compared with quick, open-minded insight into the world.

There may be a man who meets the world with a phlegmatic indifference. He does not confront the things of the world, or other men with an open heart. The fact is, very often, that he acquired this obtuseness of spirit by his sufferings in a former life on earth, the cause of which lay in his own karma. For the suffering which subsequently finds expression in this way, in dullness of soul, is sure to have been the result of feelings of hatred, at least in the last earthly life but one. You can be absolutely sure of it: stupidity in any one life is always the outcome of hatred in this or that preceding life.

Yet, my dear friends, the true concept of karma must not only be based on this; it is not only to enable us to understand life. No, we must also conceive it as an impulse in life. We must be conscious that there is not only an a b c d, but an e f g h. That is to say, there are the coming earthly lives and what we develop as the content of our soul in this life will have its outcome and effect in the next life. If anyone wants to be extra stupid in his next earthly life but one, he need only hate very much in this life. But the converse is also true: if he wants to have free and open insight in the next earthly life but one, he need only love extra much in this life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I: Lecture IV – Dornach, 24th February 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond

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Previously posted on  24 September 2018

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

See The whole lecture in English  Translated by E.H. Goddard and Charles Davy

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Previously posted on July 20, 2018

The attraction of love: a powerful mystery

The vital point, the point of intersection and of change in the ascending life of man, lies at the time of the separation of the sexes. There was an age when the two sexes were united in the being of man. Even Darwin recognised this as a probability. As the result of the separation of the sexes, a new, all-embracing element came to birth: the element of love. The attraction of love is so powerful, so mysterious, that tropical butterflies of different sexes, brought to Europe and then released to the air, will fly back again and meet each other half-way. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – III – God, Man, Nature – Paris, 27th May 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

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Previously posted on May 8, 2018

Love/Diseases/Beauty/Karma

When looking upon the law of Karma you must think of the future, for with everyone of our actions we enter into our account book an item which will bear fruit. […]

Many things become clear to us through an insight into this law. In the first place, we can accurately prove the connection between the individual bodily development and earlier lives. A life full of love prepares for the next life a course of development whereby the human being preserves his youth for a long time; a premature ageing is on the other hand caused by much antipathy during the past life.

In the second place: A particularly selfish sense of grasping and hoarding things produces in the next life a disposition to infectious diseases. In the third place, it is of special interest that pains, and particularly certain illnesses through which we pass, produce a beautiful body in our next life. This insight enables us to bear many an illness more easily.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VII: The Law of Karma – Kassel, 22nd June 1907

Previously posted on May 7, 2018